Preparation time: 2 days
Dietary guidance: v v
8 oz 100% hydration sourdough starter
11 oz organic unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
7-8 oz water
In a large, non-metal bowl, combine starter, flour and salt. Add water and stir until blended. Dough will be very sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Method 1: Let dough rest for approximately 18 hours. The surface of the dough will be dotted with bubbles. Proceed to Final Rise below.
Method 2: Let dough rest for approximately 12 hours. Put in refrigerator for and additional 12-24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let temperature come up to room temperature (about 1-2 hours). Proceed to Final Rise below.
Final Rise: Scrape dough out onto a floured work surface. Sprinkle surface with a little flour and fold it over onto itself in thirds (like a letter) then fold it in half. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. Generously coat a cotton flat-weave or flour sack towel with wheat bran. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands/work surface, and working very quickly, shape dough into a ball. Place dough seam side down wheat bran-coated towel. Sprinkle dough with additional wheat bran and flip sides of towel over dough or cover with another towel. Let rise for 2-3 hours.
Baking: At least 30 minutes before baking, place a 3-8 quart heavy covered pot (I use a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven) in the oven and preheat oven to 450 F. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven and remove the lid. Slide your hand under the towel with the bread on top and flip the dough into the pot, seam side up. Wheat bran may fly everywhere. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, bake for another 15-30 minutes until loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack.
Eating: It's great still a bit warm! Enjoy!